My name is Jess and I am a Googler. What’s that? I’m glad you asked. You see, I am not one to settle for a simple “I don’t know” and while I know many of us turn to the ol’ faithful search engine when we can’t remember whatshisface who was in that movie with the blonde actress or to find a restaurant nearby, I Google A LOT. In this day and age I cannot fathom when someone asks me (or everyone on their Facebook friends list) how to do something on their laptop or handheld device. Um, Google it? Don’t you know there is a world of forums and YouTube how-to videos for basically everything? I think I’ve always been this way, even before Google was just a twinkle in the world wide web’s eye. In kindergarten when we were learning to “read and write” we would be told to attempt a word ourselves when writing a story, follow on with some squiggly lines when we didn’t know the rest of the letters and the teacher or parent helper would come around and write in the rest for us. To that I said heck no. I would ask an adult how to spell the word then write it myself. What was the point of someone else doing it for me?
Which brings me to my current need to do things myself. When asked to develop our website, I had a vague idea of what to do. I’d added posts to a site in my first gig out of uni but hadn’t created pages myself (I also have a basic understanding of HTML coding thanks to a love of customising my Myspace page in high school). Each time I came to something I wasn’t sure how to execute, I Googled it. IT savvy people love to share their wisdom and for that they have a special place in my heart. When it comes to editing photos and creating banners and social media posts, I am not ashamed to say it: I Google. My favourite searches start with “define” or “how to” – why wait for someone else to help you or do it for you when you could do it right now, yourself (with the assistance of a forum or two).
In our phase of the business, we’re running pretty lean and to me, it makes sense to develop my own skill set in some broader areas. The result is more economical and more efficient. That’s not to say your event person has to be a wiz at content creation, or your HR person has to be a logistics queen. But it doesn’t hurt.
So comes to our exclusive partner preview event of The Grow Lab on 6th May; a one day live brand engagement event designed to provide an end to end solution to growing businesses and babies at the same time, by freely sharing concepts and strategies, in integrating growth in business, health and lifestyle. This was our first live physical event and the nerves were running hot. But you know what? It was a hit! And I highly recommend this style of event, to test yourself, your content and your delivery. It was an intimate setting and we’re already in a mutual admiration society with everyone who attended so it was good vibes all the way. It had the great balance of being a safe space to trial something, while also being able to receive feedback from intelligent and experienced individuals who feel comfortable to tell you exactly like it is (in a manner that is loving and constructive).
If your business is at a similar stage, I encourage you to stop making excuses and just go for it! You don’t need a big team to deliver an event, you can do it yourselves! Split up the tasks and keep communicating. You may even learn along the way that someone is naturally talented in a particular area and, thanks to you, they have just discovered a new gift they can offer the world!
I know it can be daunting to even start thinking about an event if you’ve never run one before, but it’s actually quite simple. Think of any event you’ve attended – it may be a big birthday such as a 21st or 50th, a wedding or a conference. Have you thought of one? Okay fab. Now think of what you saw, did, ate, experienced, how you got there, etc. Your list may look something like this:
- Venue & room set up – theatre, cabaret, classroom, boardroom
- Catering – be conscious of the time of day and what is inline with your brand
- Presentation & AV – PA system, microphones, projector & screen, lighting
- Vibe of the room – light & airy? Intimate? Avoid dingy & stuffy!
- Collateral – how are you going to own the space? Do you want to use pull up or hanging banners? Hire plants and comfy armchairs for the stage?
- Accessibility – is it near a train station, or main bus stop? Is there all day parking available?
- Facilities – are the bathrooms near your event space? You don’t want to lose people for 20min trying to find the loo!
- Invitations & logistics – clearly communicating all the need-to-know info, such as venue address, times, catering provided (or BYO recommended), dress code, event theme, key learning outcomes of the day etc
- Registration – how will you monitor who has arrived? Name tags at the front door? Scanning tickets on arrival?
- Printing requirements – do you have workbooks? Or a handout? Maybe a brochure?
- Gift bags – No matter who you are, everyone likes gifts. Especially a well put together gift bag or box. You might choose to include a complimentary copy of your book along with some partner products (I’ve seen everything from gift cards to DKNY perfume to vanilla bean paste to tampons). Remember you want the items to be inline with your event and your brand, don’t fill a gift bag with random stuff (read: junk) just to top ‘er up. Quality over quantity.
That’s just a few elements to get you started. And if you’re ever in doubt? You could always Google it. Good luck!